April 15, 2019

Dear Friends,

On February 17, I wrote to you as Chair of the St. Philip’s Search Committee to announce the publication of the Parish Profile.  That publication described who, after eight months of introspection, study and discernment, the Committee believed St. Philip’s to be and what we believed our congregation wanted St. Philip’s to become as well as the type of new leadership we believed was needed to get there.

It also sought to introduce St. Philip’s to the public outside of our community, particularly the clergy of the Episcopal church from among whom we seek to identify candidates qualified to take charge of our beloved parish and recommend to the vestry three candidates whose sensitivity, imagination and energy will help us write a new chapter in our parish’s 248-year history. 

Upon publication of our profile, we commenced an 8-week period during which we let the church at large know that we were in the process of accepting applications from men and women who aspire to teach, pray and lead from our pulpit and to serve as the face of our parish not only within our community but in the diocese and beyond.

That 8-week period ended last weekend and I’m happy to report to you that we have received 25 completed applications (and part of an additional one that seems to be hung up in its electronic submission).  With any luck, that complication will be promptly resolved and the committee will begin to read the materials we have received from the applicants, to do additional due diligence research about them, to consult with our advisor, Nora Smith of the diocesan Office of Transition Ministry and to determine which among them rise to the level of our wanting to interview them.  Thereafter, we will be in a position to offer our recommendations and to bring the Vestry into the picture to make a selection and issue a call. 

We don’t expect this part of the process to be easy or that it will go quickly.  This is a serious decision and we intend to take our time making it.  If necessary, we may even feel forced to reopen the application process but we are excited to get started on the meat of the task you have entrusted to us and we intend to identify candidates who will be equal to the expectations so many of you have taken the time to describe.                      

Needless to say, this entire selection process continues to be subject to our pledge of confidentiality in order to protect both ourselves and our applicants.  We ask again for your patience and for your ongoing respect for that pledge. 

We also thank you again for the trust you have placed in us and we ask for your prayers as we roll up our sleeves and get started - not just for us but also for the men and women who have put their futures in our hands by asking us to consider them and to use our best judgment to make a match that takes into account their considerable gifts as well as our own best hopes.

- Blake Newton, Chair